It was Mr. Vanderbilt’s desire that his estate, mansion and museum would be an informal educational facility that “promotes an appreciation and understanding of the marvelous diversity of life, other cultures and scientific knowledge.”
The Vanderbilt Museum has made that wish its mission, and offers year-round fun, educational programs for children. In addition to Planetarium programming for schools and scouting groups, those programs include hands on creative workshops and activities that make learning fun for young children.
During winter and spring school breaks and in the summer, the Vanderbilt Museum’s Education Department creates fun workshops for children in preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-3. Workshops begin with an educator-led tour of the Vanderbilt Museum’s marine-life, natural-history and ethnographic-artifact collections, and animal habitats. Hands-on learning and creative projects include making rainforest instruments, fish-print t-shirts, paper animal sculptures, seashell wind chimes, marine-life watercolor paintings, and Native American animal masks.
Vanderbilt education programs are aligned with New York State curriculum standards. Each year, the Museum publishes an education booklet for regional schools. The publication outlines programs on natural history, marine life, Long Island Gold Coast history, and architecture for various grade levels. The education booklet includes planetarium-based science and astronomy programs.